For the final Race Talk this year Ryan spoke about the Church’s most potent response to racism: eucharist. He makes this claim by first describing two things about racism: (1) that racism’s roots are economic, and (2) it is a discipline of the flesh. Then he illumines two characteristics of eucharist: (1) that eucharist enacts an alternative economy to the one which underlies racism, and (2) it is a more truthful discipline of the flesh than racism. Listen and hear about the inequality
Last Tuesday was a different format than our regular Race Talks. When talking about race and racism, we have a tendency to speak about it as an abstract, sterile thing. When people talk about racist actions which have been done to them, we tend to give more credibility to some people and less to others depending on what response aligns more with our own political opinions. We also have tendencies to see brothers and sisters who disagree with us as an ideological artifact instead of a person. Last Tuesday was an exercise in listening and relinquishing our retorts and impulses to abstract conversation, and simply trusting and being there for brothers/sisters who have been hurt by racist actions and speech. The talk begins by Ryan giving an explanation and introduction. Then five students and alumni, Terri Mattox, Christan Robicheaux, Chlese Jiles, Cristian Canales, and Khalilah Kersey, relate short stories and experiences from their lives where they have endured racism, and the congregation responds in a liturgical effort to share their burdens.
Emma spoke of the sin of partiality which is often present in God’s own Church, and told stories of how she as a biracial woman has encountered it. Afterwards there is a discussion time where she answers questions and students give feedback about topics such as how your race relates to who you are, whether or not racism affects people in the workplace, and white privilege.
For this second installment of Race Talks, Brandon Cruz, a current intern and staff member for the Welsey foundation, spoke on the unresolved trauma his family has experienced. As a member of the Patowatomie tribe, he speaks of the pain and hurt the Church and the USA have caused his people over the years, and how it is still felt today. Afterwards, the floor was open to any of the congregation who had questions about his experience, whether or not responsibility falls to us for our ancestors sins, and how we reconcile evil actions of those who call themselves Christian with the message of our Gospel.
The first Race Talks of 2019 begins with former intern and current board member, Alana Wagner, sharing her experiences of racism in the Church. Alana first preaches about how members of the body of Christ must listen, acknowledge, and share the burdens which racism places on members of our congregations from inside and outside the Church. Then we moved into a question and answer period where the floor was open for any students who wanted to know more about her experiences or advice on how we should act as brothers and sisters in Christ.